January 14, 2014 National Governors Association

Executive Committee Thank You to the President

Jan 14, 2014

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC  20500

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the National Governors Association Executive Committee, thank you for the time you and Vice President Biden spent with us earlier this week.  We greatly appreciated your hospitality and willingness to discuss the issues facing governors and states and your openness to finding solutions to make government work better.

We particularly appreciated your invitation to present concrete ideas to solve specific problems.  The recommendations we raised with you were designed to do exactly that; address problems through specific and achievable actions that can be accomplished without legislation.  Our requests included the following:

  • Through your fiscal year 2015 budget: (1) preserve Army and Air National Guard personnel and equipment in order to meet state and federal needs while reducing costs, and (2) restore the 15 percent set-aside for governors to carry out statewide employment and training activities through the Workforce Investment Act;
  • Communicate with your federal agencies that federal action to oversee or regulate energy development must work in collaboration with and not unnecessarily preempt state laws and regulations; and
  • Instruct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to develop a pathway to permanency for waivers that have been shown to work effectively, streamline the negotiation process by creating a single point of entry for states seeking approval of new initiatives, and resolve internal disputes regarding the measurement and assignment of savings, especially for dual eligibles.

As executives, we are all uniquely situated to effect change and solve problems. Governors stand ready to work with you to address our nation’s most pressing needs.  And while we may not always agree on the solution, we are always willing to work with you to try and find common ground and craft solutions that build upon the best ideas from the states and serve the best interest of the country.

Thank you again for meeting with us.  We look forward to seeing you again next month.

Sincerely yours,

Governor Mary Fallin

Governor John Hickenlooper

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